Posts by: Stephanie

Pope Francis: Women Around the World Must Be ‘Honored and Valued’

Pope Francis: Women Around the World Must Be ‘Honored and Valued’

The month of May is traditionally dedicated to Mary and is when we in the United States celebrate Mothers Day (May 8th – don’t forget!), so it is fitting that Pope Francis’ intention for the month of May is focused on women. He asks all Catholics to join him in praying for “Respect for women. That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.” 

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network has produced this video for Pope Francis’ monthly intention. The full text of the video is below.

The contribution of women in all areas of human activity is undeniable, beginning with the family. But only to recognize it…Is that enough?

We have done little for the women who are in very difficult situations–despised, marginalized, and even reduced to slavery.

We must condemn sexual violence against women and remove the barriers that prevent their full integration into social, political, and economic life.

If you think this is clearly right, join my petition. It is a prayer–that in all countries of the world women may be honored and respected and valued for their essential contribution to society.

Please join us and Pope Francis as we pray during the month of May for an increase in respect for women.

Mary, mother of all people, pray for us.

Transgender battles: How did we get here? Where are we heading? St. John Paul II has some answers

Transgender battles: How did we get here? Where are we heading? St. John Paul II has some answers

As we find ourselves discussing and debating transgender issues, such as who should be allowed in what bathroom, you may find yourself asking, “How did we get here?” and “Where is this going to lead?”

In a recent article in Crux author Thomas D. Williams proposes that the heart of the transgender issue is about allowing the will to overpower reason and reality. And we can look to St. John Paul II for answers about where we are and where we’re heading. Williams writes:

In his 1991 encyclical letter Centesimus Annus, John Paul wrote that in the political organization of the state, the only alternative to reason is will. If things are not based on what is, they must be based on what we want them to be.

Totalitarianism, he said, is based on “voluntarism”, or the supremacy of will over reason, whereas a rule of law places will at the service of reason.

According to John Paul, “Totalitarianism arises out of a denial of truth in the objective sense. If there is no transcendent truth in obedience to which man achieves his full identity, then there is no sure principle for guaranteeing just relations between people.”

Although democracy may seem to be the opposite of totalitarianism, since it distributes political power, if it fails to recognize objective truth and goodness beyond political expediency, it falls into the same error as totalitarianism. It denies the role of reason in the organization of society, and allows the will to reign.

As a society, we’ve now passed seamlessly from defining people by their sexual “orientation” to defining them by their subjective belief of who they are, regardless of what biology or genetics says, and all in less than a generation.

Where this will ultimately lead is anybody’s guess, but if the opinions of the millennial generation are to be believed, the trend has not yet nearly run its course.

Read Williams’ full article at Crux.

What To Do When Your Children Leave the Church

What To Do When Your Children Leave the Church

According to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate,  there are 32 million people in the United States who were raised in the Catholic Faith but no longer identify as Catholic. That’s 10% of the entire U.S. population. Naturally, when children leave the Church it is a heartache for the parents, and many wonder what they should or shouldn’t do. Below are a few dos and don’ts to help you if your child has left the Church:

Don’t feel guilty: There is nothing to gain by combing through the past and thinking of things you could have done differently. Even if you did everything “right,” your children are unique people who will make their own decisions. Their decisions may cause you anguish, but avoid blaming yourself. Focusing too much on the past and things outside your control can take away from the present, where you do have some control and responsibility.

Pray: For your children and for yourself. Pray for your children to return to the Church and continue their relationship with Christ. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work on their hearts. Pray that you may avoid feelings of anger and despair. Pray for God’s grace that you may be a witness of a holy, joyful, merciful, and loving life in Christ.

Be open to dialogue: Faith is a gift from God, and doubt and searching can be an important part of the journey of faith. Listen to your child’s questions or concerns and try to see things from their perspective. Often listening and simply sharing your point of view can be more beneficial than aggressive evangelism. Being open to dialogue doesn’t mean you agree with your child, but that you want to maintain a relationship with them even if you no longer share the same beliefs.

Choose to have a relationship: It can be tempting in your emotional anguish to say or imply that if your child leaves the Church, it will forever damage your relationship. Though your children’s choices may cause you sadness and disappointment, always continue to work on your relationship. Love them and let them know that they are loved.  Break down any barriers of resentment or anger by reaching out in love. If certain topics cause serious disagreement, avoid that subject rather than forcing them to defend their position.

Never lose hope: Do not lose hope that your child will return to the faith. A good example of this unfailing hope is St. Monica, who prayed for her son’s conversion for 30 years without any sign of results. Her son, St. Augustine, eventually converted and went on to become a great saint and Doctor of the Church. Trust and hope that God is watching over your children and that they will someday return to Him and His Church.